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Mercury Professional Development, Inc. | Phoenix, AZ

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Dear Mary: I’ve been in sales for 4 years. Yet I still struggle to navigate effectively between a transactional sale and a relational sale. How can I effectively bond with my prospects to tilt my sales engagements to be more relational?

--- Selling at the surface

Dear Selling at the surface, We are all familiar with transactional sales- we do it all the time. We might purchase something from a big box store– arrive, shop, stand in line, pay and leave. No relationship established. It’s all about the transaction.


Using our bonding and rapport tools effectively is vital to developing our prospect's pain points. Thus we need to develop the trust that enables the prospect to reveal their true emotional pains, and then nurture them as we explore the pain. Revealing this pain not only builds the prospect's conviction to do business with us, but also creates an intimate bond between us and our prospect. This is a bond that is sustainable and the basis for a trusted advisor relationship.

Jim had been working on a big deal for four months. Before he gave his presentation, his sales manager asked, “Is this prospect qualified?”

Jim answered “Yes” with total confidence. The next day, however, he learned that a competitor had gotten the deal – because of a very recent change in his contact’s buying priorities...

I don't suppose the Sandler sales system could be worth a try?

If you don't have a sales system, then you are likely following the buyers' system. And the prospect is in control of the buyers' system.
The seven step Sandler system puts you in control, while letting your prospect feel in control. The Sandler seven steps include Bonding & Rapport, Up Front Contract, Pain, Budget, Decision, Fulfillment, and Post-sell.

Find out how Tim Lambros, of Wealth Smart Trust Advisors, used Sandler Training to double his close rate in less than 3 months. 

The middle of a selling situation is not the right time to think about what questions to ask. We need to prepare our questions in advance. Start by developing pain indicator questions that help your prospect reveal their challenges.

The first thing you need to remember in your sales process is that your questions just begin when the prospect first tells you what they believe to be their "problem." When you treat their first symptoms with some skepticism, and follow up with carefully selected questions, you'll find that the real problem will later reveal itself.